Exercise 1 Answer (How to read effectively)

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1. A Sentence 2 contains the function of the building described.

B Sentence 4 describes the physical structure.

C Sentence 3 contains information on the location of the building.

D Information on the history of the building is in Sentence 1.

2. The reason is that each phrase relates to the information in one sentence only. Each phrase summarises only one sentence, nof the whole paragraph.

3. The writer wrote the paragraph: to describe the Mussenden temple. The answer A gives you the purpose for writingthe paragraph. B only gives you the writer’s purpose forwriting the last sentence. The text contains no informationabout whether Frederick Hervey was mad or not.The writer only states that Hervey was enigmatic.Therefore, C is not possible as an answer. As for D, itonly describes the writer’s purpose in writing the secondsentence. It is clear that only A states why the writerwrote the whole paragraph, rather than just the parts of it.

4. building/folly/library/temple/structure

The word library is probably the main one. Read the organisation of the second sentence.

5. The synonyms are used to develop the text and reflect different qualities throughout the paragraph. The writer uses the different synonyms to bind the text together and to express the different qualities of the building in each sentence: folly, an act of madness; temple as tribute to Mrs Mussenden; and then the main focus, library.

6. It is descriptive. Note that the paragraph is a list of information:

The building was completed in 1785

The building was erected by Frederick Hervey

Frederick Hervey was enigmatic

Frederick Hervey was Earl of Bristol

Frederick Hervey was Bishop of Derry

and so on. There is no argument, nor opinion in theparagraph. Learning to recognise the different types ofparagraphs and texts is another important aspect oflearning to read the meaning and organisation of a text.

7. The most appropriate title is C: The Mussenden Temple. The title reflects the purpose of the author in writing theparagraph. (See 3 above) and is a summary of all theinformation in the paragraph. The other titles refer only toparts of the text and cannot, therefore, act as summariesof the whole paragraph.In the IELTS exam, exercises where you have to give atitle or heading to a paragraph are quite common. It is atype of exercise which many candidates find ratherdifficult. You can see the title here is the sum of the foursentences i.e. the function of the building, the physical structure of the library, the location of the building and the history of the building.

8. The first sentence gives background information against which the writer describes the function of the building in the second.

9. The function of the third sentence is to describe the geographical location. Into this setting fits the physical appearance in the fourth sentence.

10. Between the second and third sentences. See the answers to 8 and 9 above.

11. The first two sentences give non-physical information about the building (i.e. its background history and function). The last two sentences give physical information about the buildings (i.e. its location and appearance). Notice how you can bring the first two sentences into one unit and the latter two again into one unit. You can then add these two together to give you the title of the passage.

12. The information has been put in a different order. The most important information in the original text is: The library was built in honour of Mrs Mussenden The other information given by the writer is subsidiary to this main point. The information contained in the phrases:…, completed in 1785,… by the enigmatic Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry,…, the Earl’s cousin is extra. Note the commas around the phrase, completed in 1785, and the comma and fuil stop around …, the Earl’s cousin, to mark off this information from the main text. You can understand the first sentence in this explanation without difficulty, but you cannot understand the additional information on its own. It adds to the text, but by the organisation in the sentence the writer shows that it is additional, not central.

You need, therefore, to understand the hierarchy of information within a sentence and within a text. You need to recognise what information in a text is important and what is really just additional or background information.

In the sentence in the exercise, the information was reorganised with the main information being: was completed in 1785.

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